Tag Archives: Twitter

Week 4 – Social networks

Brace yourself, fellow Thingers, for a positive SPATE of posts. I have been feeling very guilty about not blogging for a while, so this afternoon is designated catch-up time.

So, social networks, eh? I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these. I signed up to Facebook on New Year’s Day 2007, thereby guaranteeing that my annual resolution to be more productive at work would fail. I think what I love about Facebook (and how terrible it is to admit to this) is the nosiness factor. It’s so interesting to see how half-forgotten people from dim and distant school days are getting on. And it’s easy to take this further than you should. One friend of mine instigated a self-imposed Facebook ban when she found herself spending an evening bitching about the wedding photos of complete strangers. (We’ve all done it.) So that’s where the hate comes in, I suppose – it turns you into an easily-distracted internet addict who is happy to judge people on the basis of one badly-posed photograph or a predilection for excessive use of ‘LOL’.

So I’ve always been a bit dubious about the usefulness of social media for work purposes. I don’t mind strangers judging me on the internet (well, not much), but I don’t want my work colleagues getting in on the action. I do use Twitter at conferences and find it a great way to connect with other delegates. I’ll definitely be using Lanyrd in this way too, now that I’ve found it. But I don’t think I’ll be upping my usage in between conferences.

One thing I must say about Twitter is that the compelling users – the ones you really care about following – have a nice mix of professional and personal comments. I love it when people point you at a resource but also give you their thoughts on it – admittedly, not the easiest thing to do in 140 words. One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot on this course is the idea of curating your online presence, and making sure that you are interesting without being indiscreet. I suspect that this is the real trick for social networks – you need to have enough of a personality that people will feel connected to you, but still be sufficiently professional that they will respect your knowledge and skills. It’s a tricky balance.

 

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Here we go…

Hello everybody!

My name’s Ellen Collins and I work for the Research Information Network (RIN). Along with the University of Huddersfield, we’re running 25 Research Things.

The RIN has had a longstanding interest in how researchers use web 2.0 to share information. Some of this has rubbed off on me – since joining the organisation I’ve started using Twitter, and I even write the occasional blog.

However, I’m still very much in the paddling end of the web 2.0 swimming pool. So, in the interest of becoming more of a practice-what-you-preach kind of a gal, I’ve decided to join in with all the Huddersfield researchers taking part in this programme. Previously, this project has only ever been run for librarians, and I’m excited to see what’s different when we involve researchers.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with some of the newer tools and techniques, the ones I haven’t yet tried. I know that not everything will necessarily work for me but, since this project itself originated and was mostly written using web 2.0 tools, I’m aware that they can have powerful and unexpected uses.

So, bring on the next 9 weeks!

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